One of our researchers, Angela Curtis, is currently working on an exciting project to identify Gobabeb’s bat species, their habitats and habits. Her project is co-funded by the NSF-Supported “Human Frontier of Science Programme”
representing an employment and capacity development partnership between Gobabeb, the National Museum of Namibia and the University of Namibia. Although her original training was not bat-focused, Angela accepted the challenge head on. In December, she participated in the “Bat Fieldworkers Course” at Meletse Bat Research and Conservation Training Centre in South Africa, an intensive course offered by African Bats. In the five-week training program, she gained practical experiences in species identification, harmless capture, genetic sampling, and stress-free handling and examination.
Over the next two years, Angela will work the bats at Gobabeb. She explains, “The aim of the Desert Bat Project is to record an echolocation library from known identified bats for the Gobabeb area.” She continues, “This library will be used to interpret echolocation recordings from different habitats and resources around Gobabeb to determine what is important to different bat species. These habitats and resources will be monitored acoustically and by trapping over the course of a year to monitor seasonal changes. Changes in weather will be compared to the activity levels of different bat species to see how weather impacts their behaviour which may indicate climate change.”
For more information about the ‘Bat Fieldworkers Course’ in South Africa, check out the African Bats website: ‘africanbats.org’.
Photo credit: Marcel Chaves